Foothills Brewing Company
638 W 4th St
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Visited on August 30, 2013
Despite being located in a relatively overlooked small city with no other brewpubs in the near vicinity, I had high hopes going into Foothills. Not since Elysian Brewing in Seattle have I found bombers of consistent quality at a very reasonable price in most every grocery store in the region.
The physical location in Winston-Salem did not disappoint.
The standard lineup of brews that I’ve come to know and love from their aforementioned bombers were, of course, pretty good. They make a solid pilsner, a rich porter, a great American pale, and one of the better IPAs on the market. I’m always pleased to order a pint or pick up a bottle of these flagships. But the rest of their lineup left a little something to be desired.
My main complaint comes in the form of their double IPA. According to their menu it’s their first entry into the high gravity market. The only problem is I don’t think they went quite high enough. The amount of hops used in a double IPA that weighs in at less than 10 percent was a bit much for my palette, giving more bitterness in the finish than I would like and not enough sweetness up front. And on the order of seasonals, their pumpkin ale and maikbock would not stand out in a crowd.
The food seems to be in the same tier as their beer; it’s solid and always delivers, but some of the higher end plates leave a little something to be desired. I had an ostrich burger, which I’d never tried before. I give major points for offering rare bird meat raised on their own spent grains, but I didn’t care for the taste. There was a metallic iron flavor to it. The onion rings weren’t stellar either.
My fiance’s turkey on wheat was gigantic; it was even bigger than my burger. The flavors were dominated by a large load of cream cheese and cranberry sauce, which would make even the blandest sandwich taste like a wet dream. The bread and meat seemed decent, but who really knows with the flavor overload of rich, sweet goodness?
The best part of the spot, in my opinion, is the location. The building is large and in charge, and obviously has some history behind it. The front is dominated by a nice outdoor seating area and a large dining room aimed at pleasing your typical family. The bar area has a lot of character, in contrast, and is the place I’d prefer to spend my time if given the option.
In all, Foothills is a solid brewpub and I’m pretty sure I’ll be back every time I’m hungry and have the time to spare on my way between Virginia and North Carolina.